Doctoral fellowships are awarded on an individual basis to young scientists, often newly graduates, because of personal achievement (excellent study results) and/or after submission of a research project

The recipients are usually coached by a promoter, who often assists in formulating the research project, which frequently follows a Master thesis. 

A doctoral student is expected to prepare a dissertation.

B.A.E.F. Research Fellowships

The Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.) annually awards 65 study and research grants for the United States. Grants are for young researchers who have completed by July 1, 2022 no more than 1 year of their Master’s program and who already wish to conduct research at an American research lab or for young doctoral researchers who have completed by July 1, 2022 no more than 2 years of their PhD program.

Deadline for application: 31 October 2022

Contact: Julie De Groot

BOF - University Research Fund

Fulbright Program

As part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Fulbright awards scholarships to Belgian and Luxembourgish citizens to study or conduct research in any academic field at an accredited U.S. institution for a period between four months and one academic year (9 months).

Deadline for application: 01 December 2022

Contact: Julie De GrootTim Berckmans

FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research

A PhD Fellowship fundamental research allows young researchers to prepare a PhD, and to develop into independent scientists with a critical mindset. Fundamental research in the context of a PhD fellowship stands for challenging and innovative research (at PhD level).

There is one call each year which usually closes in March.

Contact: Greet Hellenbosch

FWO PhD fellowship strategic basic research

A PhD Fellowship strategic basic research (SB) allows young researchers to prepare a PhD, and to develop into strategically thinking and innovation-oriented scientists.

Strategic basic research in the context of a PhD grant stands for challenging and innovative research (at PhD level), which, if successful, may in the longer term lead to innovative applications with economic added value (for specific companies, for a collective of companies, or a sector, or in line with the Flanders 2025 transition areas

There is one call each year which usually closes in March.

Contact: Ann Aerts

FWO Special PhD fellowship

The special PhD fellowship enables persons not employed within scientific research to complete a PhD within one year. Applicants must be in possession of a "temporary leave" certificate issued by their current employer.

There is one call each year which usually closes in March.

Contact: Greet Hellenbosch

VLAIO Baekeland Program


Baekeland projects should be the subject of a collaboration between a Flemish company and a Flemish university or a centre of knowledge (research institutes, strategic research centres, university colleges, etc.), provided they work together with a promoter who is affiliated to a university. The company acts as the main applicant, helps to set the strategic direction of the research project and is responsible for co-financing.
The doctoral student can (already) be employed and carry out his/her research activities in either the company or the centre of knowledge. The program is open to all nationalities and to all degrees that are accepted by the institution for enrolment for a doctoral program. VLAIO does not impose any additional restrictions or grade requirements. 

Duration – budget 

In general, the duration of Baekeland programs is 4 years, with intermediate evaluation after 2 years. Baekeland funds cover personnel, operational and equipment costs as well as fixed costs. The actual amount granted by VLAIO depends on the size of the company, and amounts to 50% for a large enterprise, 60% for an SME and 70% for a small enterprise (SE). The company is to provide co-financing for the remaining percentage of the total budget. A project can receive 10% additional support if there is a well-balanced collaboration between several independent companies, none of which contributes more than 70% of the project costs, and if at least one partner is an SME. A maximum support percentage of 80% is hence possible.

Two calls are launched each year (submission deadlines: March and September).

Contact: Bram Verbinnen & Lara Mennes